Author Topic: Ransomware that knows where you live!  (Read 2540 times)

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Offline Digerati

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Ransomware that knows where you live!
« on: April 09, 2016, 04:55:23 PM »
Ransomware that knows where you live!

I am using this worrisome article to remind users of the threats presented through "socially engineered" methods of malware distribution. It is important to understand that emails like this are not, in themselves, harmful to our computers or our personal security.

The danger comes via the links in the email the badguy wants users to click on. These badguys are intelligent and clever "con artist" who exploit the human weaknesses of gullibility and trust by creating professional looking emails that attempt to trick us into clicking on links. Then WHAM!!!! That's when the malicious code (malware) attacks!

The badguys know and counts on the fact that the user is ALWAYS the weakest link in security. The most hardened computer with the best security is no match if the user opens the door to let the badguy (and his malware) in.

So use this as a reminder to never - as in NEVER EVER click on unsolicited links, attachments or downloads unless you know for certain they are legitimate. The best bet is to visit the company's website through their frontdoor. For example, that letter claimed to be on behalf of "Benchmark Instruments". So don't use the link in the email, use our friends, Bing and Google and type "Benchmark Instruments" in their search bars and find Benchmark Instruments home page. Then use the "contact us" link and verify that way if they really do have a claim against you or some legitimate reason for some of your personal information.

If, out-of-the-blue, you get an unsolicited email (or phone call) from your bank, the IRS, Social Security Administration, etc. (or someone you never heard of), especially if they want money, passwords, account numbers, home address, or other personal information, don't click on any links or give them any information. Just delete the email (or hang-up the phone). If it is someone or company you have a relationship with, you can contact them independently by you researching their contact information.

Genuine banks, government agencies and even legitimate collection agencies will always contact you via a letter mailed to your house - not by email or a phone call.

Remember, socially engineered methods of malware distribution are, by far, the most prolific kind because the badguys know humans are too trusting. Don't fall for it. If an unsolicited email is seeking money from you, assume it is a fraud, a scam, a con. And if you feel threatened, in any way, do not be afraid to call the police.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
Freedom is NOT Free!
2007 - 2018

Offline plodr

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Re: Ransomware that knows where you live!
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2016, 05:42:44 PM »
We got an unsolicited phone call from our bank. My husband answered and asked if they were on a cell phone because they were breaking up. He told them to call back later. So far they have not.

In defense, we do get calls from our bank and since two of our banks were bought out by a 3rd bank, this was a call from the 3rd bank.  So it might be legitimate because we closed all the accounts at one of the two previous banks.
I told my husband to tell them I want to talk to them. I'll ask what branch they are calling from so I can determine which of the two previous banks is calling. If they can't answer that - then I'll simply hang up.

Offline Digerati

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Re: Ransomware that knows where you live!
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2016, 06:09:57 PM »
I am still not buying they would call you over the phone if legitimate (unless they were returning your call).

In the nearly 30 years since I moved here in Nebraska, my bank has been bought out/merged three times. The 3rd time was during "The Great Recession" a few years back and my bank quickly merged with a larger, but failing bank to save that failing bank. Each time, I got letters in the mail telling me what was going to happen - even with the rush takeover.

Actual phones calls are labor intensive, time consuming, and even more expensive than printing, adding postage, and mailing out letters. Buyouts, take-overs and mergers involve HUGE amounts of work - especially when state and federal banking regulators are standing over their shoulders.  If I were a bad guy, I would see such buyouts and takeovers as potential opportunities.

Now if there was something peculiar with your account, that could make an exception, I suppose. But if me, I would be very suspicious and just follow your lead and simply hang up. If they want me, they know my address and they can send a letter. And if I am still curious, I know their phone numbers (or can look them up). I can call them and ask to speak to a personal banker. Or, if potentially really important or for 100% certainty, I can get in my truck and go there and see for myself.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
Freedom is NOT Free!
2007 - 2018

Offline plodr

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Re: Ransomware that knows where you live!
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2016, 09:03:29 PM »
Well our banks have called to tell us about specials on CDs (two banks different from the three discussed above) and also wanting to handle our money. I say no to money handling because we have a financial advisor. I'm not putting anything in the bank that is not FDIC insured.
So it is not unusual for us to get a call from the bank.

Offline Digerati

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Re: Ransomware that knows where you live!
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2016, 09:12:42 PM »
Well, but at least this is a bank you already have a relationship with. That is not always the case, as with that company in that email sent above. Perhaps I should not have mentioned anything about phone calls, but then again, scammers and aggressive telemarketers do use them too.

Regardless, the point is, be suspicious and don't fall for their tricks. If not sure, verify - especially before paying a penny or giving out any personal information.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
Freedom is NOT Free!
2007 - 2018

Offline Pete!

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Re: Ransomware that knows where you live!
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2016, 09:54:34 PM »
... Perhaps I should not have mentioned anything about phone calls, ...
At least 99% of the calls I get on my landline are scams, or telemarketers that don't honor the national "Do Not Call" list (which makes them crooks too).

Yes, mention phone calls !

If my broker, doctor, or bank calls, I let them leave a message, and if appropriate, call back using the number on their letterhead.